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Derek Walcott, the Journeyman Years, Volume 2: Performing Arts: Occasional Prose 1957-1974 (Cross/Cultures)

ISBN: 9789042037571
Publisher: Rodopi
Edition: annotated edition
Publication Date: 2013-11-21
Number of pages: 574
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  • Regular price $212.48

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Description


During the same period in which Derek Walcott was pouring immense physical, emotional, and logistical resources into the foundation of a viable first-rate West Indian theatre company and continuing to write his inimitable poetry, he was also busy writing newspaper reviews, chiefly for the Trinidad Guardian. His prodigious reviewing activity extended far beyond those areas with which one might most readily associate his interests and convictions. As Gordon Rohlehr once presciently observed, "If one wants to see a quotidian workaday Walcott, one should go back to [his] well over five hundred articles, essays and reviews on painting, cinema, calypso, carnival, drama and lite¬rature," articles which "reveal a rich, various, witty and scrupulous intelligence in which generous humour counterpoints acerbity." These articles capture the vitality of Caribbean culture and shed additional light on the aesthetic preoccupations expressed in Walcott's essays published in journals. The editors have examined the corpus of Walcott's journalistic activity from its beginnings in 1950 to its peak in the early 1970s, and have made a generous selection of material from the Guardian, along with occasional pieces from such sources as Public Opinion (Kingston) and The Voice of St. Lucia (Castries). The articles in Volume 2 are organized as follows: the performing arts; general surveys of anglophone Caribbean drama, theatre, and society; festivals, theatre companies, and productions; British and American drama; dance and music theatre; Carnival and calypso; and cinema screenings in Trinidad. Volume 2 additionally contains an exhaustive annotated and cross-referenced chronological bibliography of Walcott's journalism up to 1990. The co-editor Christopher Balme has written a searching introductory essay on a central theme - here, a survey of West Indian theatre and Walcott's engagement with it, particularly the idea of a 'National Theatre', coupled with an illustrative discussion of the playwright's seminal dramatic spectacle Drums and Colours.

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